The European People’s Party (EPP) leaders have condemned the ongoing provocations of Turkey against Cyprus’ sovereignty at the EPP Summit in Brussels today. The EPP leaders have also called for an immediate de-escalation of the situation to maintain peace and stability in the region. On this occasion, the EPP President Joseph Daul made the following statement:

“It is unacceptable that Turkey, a NATO member, continues to deliberately instigate conflict and raise tensions against Cyprus. The EPP leaders have expressed grave concerns about Turkey’s continued aggressive actions in the Eastern Mediterranean, and in particular the escalated violations of Cyprus’ sovereignty and sovereign rights over its territorial waters, and Exclusive Economic Zone.

Such behaviour destabilises the security in the area and contradicts Turkey’s obligations to respect good neighbourly relations with all EU member states.

The security in the Mediterranean must not be put at risk. We are calling on Turkey to immediately refrain from future aggression and respect the territorial integrity of Cyprus. Turkey must also open a dialogue with Greece to allow for the immediate release of the two Greek soldiers arrested on 1 March.

The EPP expresses solidarity and stands committed and united in its support of Cyprus, as well as Greece, in the face of increasing aggressive actions from Turkey that compromise peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean. The EU-Turkey Summit in Varna, under the Bulgarian EU Presidency, is an opportunity for Turkey to move beyond the current impasse and improve the relations with the countries in the region.”